The April 2010 issue of Architectural Digest features this photo and the quote by noted interior designer, Charles Allem, “Edit, edit, edit. Less is more. That is my Motto”. In these difficult economic times, his quote has two meanings for me. One, obviously, is that a more minimalistic approach to home design is a growing trend and that simple lines and monochromatic color is a striking, beautiful (and maybe even cheaper) way to decorate. The second meaning is that perhaps some of us have become slaves to our “stuff”. Perhaps simplifying our lives with less stuff and more time spent with family and friends is what makes a more meaningful life.
Regardless of his quote or its meaning to me, what I noticed from the photograph is that “Less” still means flowers! What would that photograph be like without the centerpiece of white tulips? Flowers breath life into that room, and create a beauty that would not exist without them!
Do flowers bring joy and beauty to your life or are they just stuff? I can’t quite picture a room like this one in our house (with three kids and a neurotic dog), but I can relate to the flowers. While one of my main jobs at home is picking up and throwing away (editing seems like too sophisticated a term to describe what I do), adding flowers to a room always adds beauty and life without adding clutter. I can’t really imagine my house ever being perfectly clean and organized, but I will always imagine it being decorated with flowers!
So what exactly does a florist use to prepare flowers for wedding arrangements and party flowers? Not the typical items you might find in the garage or kitchen, but easy to obtain once you know what you are after. Here are the basic tools and supplies you need to make it easy to work with wholesale flowers.
The first and most important tool you need in your DIY kit is a good pair of Floral Scissors. They might look like ordinary scissors, but they are not. They are specifically designed to cut stems without mashing the ends which would prohibit proper water take up. For proper re-hydration of all dry-shipped wholesale flowers you really need these!
The only sure thing you will find in every person’s pocket working in the wholesale flower market is a sharp floral knife. Used for opening boxes, cutting woody stems, or removing thorns, this tool is always on hand. They come in fixed blade and folding varieties. The maker’s of those famous Swiss Army Knifes also offer a single blade folding floral knife specifically designed for floral work.
Preparing wholesale roses can be a little intimidating at first because of the thorns. They are the only flower in the cooler ready to draw blood from a novice and expert alike. While the experts probably use a sharp floral knife, the thorn stripper is the DIY flower preper’s solution. Its a simple inexpensive device that removes all the thorns with one pass down the stem. The excess leaves come off as well, making it very fast to prep a 25 pack of roses.
Next in the bag of tricks are the floral solutions. Most people think you need to add flower food to the water of fresh cut flowers, but flowers don’t really need food. What they need is fresh clean water that stays fresh and clean. Products like Aquaplus power keep the water clean and bacteria free longer than untreated water and that keeps the stems from becoming clogged. While it comes in packets for single vase use, keeping a tub or pail of it on hand is more ecconomical. If you want your cut flowers to last as long as possible, use a water treatment product.
Another favorite solution for florists is leaf shine. Like waxing the car after a car wash, leaf shine adds the finishing professional touch on all the greens and leaves in the arrangement. Wholesale greens and flower leaves often arrive dirty, dull, or with water stains. Using a spray leaf shine after the center piece or bouquet is made only takes a few seconds and restores the greens to a bright shiny luster.
Green floral wire and green floral tape are basic staples for all professional designers. The floral wire can be used to support weak stem flowers like gerbera daises or to add support to corsages and boutonnieres. Green floral tape is used to wrap hand tied bouquets and as a final stem wrap on wedding boutonnieres. Both are essential for the DIY flower tool kit!
Last but not least is floral foam and floral adhesive. Most people have seen the green foam in arrangements but have never worked with it. It comes in brick size blocks and can be cut and shaped to fit the vase or container being used and works to hold the flowers and other arrangement components in place. As light as a feather when dry, cut flower foam absorbs a large volume of water when soaked which then is available to keep the stems hydrated. Note there is also a dry foam that does not absorb water and is only or silk or dried flower arrangements. Floral adhesive can be used anywhere where components need to be be glued in place. Also a must for foam bouquet holders to keep the stems in place.
So if you are starting from scratch on a DIY flower project, or just want to use the right tools for the job, starting with these basic floral design supplies will make all your flower creations turn out right!
Many of us here in the Northeast long for spring, but the weather has not been very cooperative. We’ve had some serious snow lately, and more is predicted during the week. I guess this makes us all appreciate the warmer weather when it eventually arrives.
It seems like every March I start trying to make my own spring. Luckily, spring flowers are available SOMEWHERE, and can be brought to you with a little help from the Wholesale Flower Market. I just bought daffodils. In fact, I do this every year, and they look great with my green St. Patrick’s Day decorations. Did you know that daffodils are best in a vase by themselves? They secrete a sticky substance, which clogs the stems of other flowers and prevents them from absorbing water.
After my daffodils, I move on to Tulips and Hyacinths. Tulips are a great value and are wonderful not only in your home, but also as an easy centerpiece for a party or special occasion. They are always fun to watch, because they are the only flower that I know of that grows AFTER it has been cut! If you’re planning an arrangement with Tulips make sure you take that into consideration when you cut their stems.
Don’t be afraid of Hyacinths! They don’t just belong outside. These long-lasting flowers bring not only the beauty, but also the fragrance of spring indoors. And speaking of fragrance, practically nothing smells better than Freesia! If you have never ordered this lovely, cascading flower, wait no longer!
You may be surprised to know that the short-seasoned Lilac is also available right now.
You don’t have to wait until Mother’s Day. Get some now and then again for Mother’s Day!
Don’t suffer any longer from the winter blahs. Lovely spring flowers from the Wholesale Flower Market will give you that much-needed boost to get you through to the real Spring!